Book Reviews

Tots! 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-tot-o Pie by Dan Whalen


I love tator tots, and seeing a book full of tot recipes instantly grabbed my attention. Plain ol’ tots are yummy just as they are, but I’m always looking for new ways to dish up old favorites, and couldn’t wait to see what this cookbook had to offer.

The book kicks off with Tots 101, filling you in on everything you ever wanted to know about tots. You’ll learn about the different sizes and types of tots. (How did I not know there was such a thing as sweet potato tots?!) You’ll also learn about the different ways you can cook them, and how to make your own tots from scratch—including a variety of seasonings, sauces, and dips for your tots.

Covering everything from appetizers to desserts, Whalen shows how versatile the tator tot can be. With recipes varying from familiar staples (Bacon-Wrapped Tots) to wittily-named creations (Tot-al Eclairs of the Heart), the recipes made me hungry and, occasionally, made me chuckle over the clever names.

I haven’t tried any of the recipes out yet, but I intend to do so in the very-near future—the Monster Tot Bacon Grilled Cheese, perhaps? That sounds delish, right?

If you love tots as much as I do, be sure to check out this cookbook!

Fun fact: this is the first review I’ve ever written that made me hungry.


I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of Workman Publishing via Netgalley.

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Author: Dan Whalen
Title: Tots! 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-tot-o Pie
Genre: Cookbook
Publication Date: May 15, 2018 by Workman Publishing
Rating: 4 stars

About the Book

It’s a fact: Americans love tots, and last year consumed 3.5 billion of them. And not just at home. From fast-food joints to high-end restaurants, chefs are joining the tot trend, serving exotically spiced tots or fun mash-ups like Totchos, with tots replacing the corn chips in nachos. But now, prepare for TOT-al domination! Created by mad-genius food blogger Dan Whalen, Tots! elevates the friendly little tater to its place in the culinary spotlight.

This irresistible cookbook with a nubby tot-texture on the cover offers 50 delicious, playful, and surprising recipes for snacks, appetizers, inspired main dishes, and inspired sides, even desserts. (Yes, you could create an entire tot-centric dinner.) Here are party dishes like Buffalo Tots and Tot Poutine. A Tot Caesar for an elegant starter. Tots for breakfast, like Tots Benedict and a Tot Shakshuka, and tots for dinner—Moules Tots, Chicken Tot Pie, Tater Tot Pizza, and Bibimtot. Side dishes—next Thanksgiving, try Sausage and Tot Stuffing. And for sweets lovers, Tot Churros (deep-fried and dipped in chocolate ganache), Apple Tot Crumble (that crispy salty tot topping really plays off the warm sweet apples), and Tot S’mores—a heavenly melt of a dish.

Every recipe uses frozen commercial tots—but Dan Whalen also shows die-hard tot lovers how to make tots from scratch and then alter their creations with different spices (think Tots Vindaloo) and sauces. It’s TOT-ally awesome.

About the Author

DAN WHALEN is the culinary mad-genius creator of the popular recipe blog The Food in my Beard and the author of Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook and the forthcoming The Comfort Food Mash-Up. Since starting his website in 2008, he has published more than 1,000 recipes that have been viewed over 6 million times, and has produced numerous viral videos including a Quesadilla-Bun Burger video that has racked up 24 million views. His work has been featured in Saveur, Bon Appétit, Serious Eats, Fine Cooking,, MSNBC, and Huffington Post, among others. He lives in Boston, MA.

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